Tag Archives: Eleni Pappas

‘The Greatest Showman’ soars, sticks the landing

By Eleni Pappas

Art by Tori Roberts

An audience fills the stands, shouting and stomping their feet in a rhythmic pattern, waiting in anticipation for the show to finally begin. An array of acts like never before, a revolutionary form of entertainment, bearded ladies singing, an eight foot tall giant, gymnasts being thrown through the air hundreds of feet up. All of it led by one man, The Greatest Showman.

Famous celebrities step back into the musical spotlight in the film such as Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) and Zac Efron (High School Musical). Zendaya takes a major role for the second time in 2017. The historical musical drama movie was released on Dec. 20 of last year, directed by first time movie director Michael Gracey, and is anticipated to win in the upcoming Oscars.

The story begins with young P.T. Barnum, played by Jackman, who is the son of a poor tailor. The beginning quickly zooms through how he falls in love with his wife Charity, actress Michelle Williams, and begins a family. Once he gets let go from his desk job Barnum takes out a loan to start a wax museum, which quickly fails. Then he takes from his childhood memories as inspiration to start a circus.

As we see the rise of Barnum and the Circus’ fame, we also get to see Efron’s and Zendaya’s characters, Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler, fall in love. Carlyle is Barnum’s protege, and Wheeler is an African American trapeze artist, and the two come together on the show. Audiences get to witness the historical romance between two people coming from different worlds and dealing with the issues that come with that. There was hardly enough of this delicate relationship and it should have been more of a focus. The chemistry between Zendaya and Efron is palpable, and Efron even said in multiple interviews that theirs was his best onscreen kiss due to their characters’ story.

The Greatest Showman’s music has quickly grown in popularity. Its soundtrack rising to number 5 on BillBoard 200 albums chart and “This Is Me” won Golden Globe’s award for Best Original Song. “Rewrite The Stars,” sang by Efron and Zendaya, is also a favorite. Gasps were heard during the scene their characters sang together, flying through the air. Certain parts cause chills, such as the iconic opening scene when Jackman softly sings the “ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for” lyric in the “Greatest Show.” The song writing features Benj Pasek and Justin Pau, known for their songs in La La Land for which they won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

The film takes audiences on an adventure of a lifetime, filled with its highs and lows. Within the theater, there definitely was a major share of those without any dry eyes. Some shed tears within in the first few minutes, seeing Barnum and Charity’s love story. Others waited more toward the end, on a less happy note, due to any number of reasons. When the movie ended people walked out, singing the tune of the songs they remembered.

All in all, the film ultimately circles around themes of following dreams, uniting family, and staying true to oneself. Barnum’s struggle with fame and his family, the forbidden romance, and the circus act’s fighting to be proud of their uniqueness all go to show that. The issues these characters face, and often sing about, are relatable. As Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its curtains, The Greatest Showman is a fitting final homage to Barnum’s dream that lived on stage for 146 years.

Bonnie and Clyde: A crime of love vs. a love of crime

By Eleni Pappas and Madison Fuson

Many romanticists are into daring love stories, especially the ones that keep the audience on the run with guns and robberies. When it comes to notorious romances, most think of Romeo and Juliet until he or she hears the criminal details in question. Then the focus may shift to Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were born in Texas, around the 1900s. Bonnie was 19 and a waitress at the time when she first encountered Clyde, who was two years older. They met in January of 1930 through a mutual friend. Bonnie was known to be a good citizen before Clyde; however, she did have an abusive husband, whom she never divorced while with Clyde. Clyde was coerced into the crime life by his brother at an early age, through robberies.

The first true crime as “Bonnie and Clyde” was technically Clyde’s jailbreak. He escaped imprisonment using a gun Bonnie smuggled to him, already in love.

The crime spree truly began when they were joined in 1932 by gunman Raymond Hamilton, Raymond was later replaced by William Daniel Jones. On March 23, 1933 the gang was joined by Clyde’s brother, Ivan or “Buck,” having been released from Texas State Prison and granted full pardon by the governor. Buck’s wife, Blanche, joined as well, but later was captured when Buck was killed. However, the group had already made a stream of headlines with each daring robbery they enacted.

While Bonnie and Clyde were criminals, the media portrayed them to be that of superstars. A photo in which the couple posed with the rest of gang holding guns and cigars became famous and was used in many newspapers, showcased like the cover of a magazine. Not all media showed them favoritism, one in particular,  New York Daily News did not mind to call Clyde a “kill-crazy youth” and Bonnie his “moll” (a gangster’s female companion or prostitute). Still, as with any celebrity, any press is good press and the pair flaunted having the spotlight.

The last crime they would commit before the day that their lives would end was in January, 1934. On this day, Clyde helped along with a jailbreak for Eastham, killing a prison guard and escaping with multiple convicts besides his friends. One in particular was Henry Methvin.

Later on April 1, the same year, with a posse led by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, Barrow would kill two highway patrolmen in a pursuit in the area of Grapevine, Texas. After these two crimes and Methvin’s own murder acts after the pursuit, the foreshadowing events would lead to the fateful end of the duo and their gang.

Those events lead America to the day of betrayal and lives lost. Methvin’s father, for pardon of his son by the government for the crimes, would give Texas Ranger Frank Hamer the whereabouts of Bonnie and Clyde. On May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down by Hamer’s hidden squad after driving down the backroad to pick up Methvin’s father beside a broken down truck. The couple did try to drive away in escape, but the hail of bullets killed them instantly.

The story of Bonnie and Clyde may not be as romantic as some remember; however, that does not mean one can not appreciate their daring tale. Go see “Bonnie and Clyde” put on by the Theatre Department this weekend and Sept. 1-3. Tickets prices can be found online at http://www.floydcentraltheatre.org.


Seniors look toward final week of high school

By Eleni Pappas

It is nearing that time of every school year for certain upperclassman. Not only a time of new beginnings, but sadly of goodbyes. Friends who have been together for years parted as one is headed away for graduation and college. Once again the underclassmen say farewell to their senior brethren and plan how they are to keep in touch till they themselves graduate and move beyond the high school experience. Continue reading Seniors look toward final week of high school

Stick your claws into this, Logan movie review

By Eleni Pappas

Finally, the Wolverine solo movie we deserve. Coming back for the last time (or so he says) as the gruff mutant with adamantium claws and a sordid past, Hugh Jackman stars in this potentially wall shattering film directed by James Mangold. The movie follows Logan (Wolverine) now aged and weary, hiding out on the Mexican border caring for an ill Professor X. Logan’s plan to hide from the rest of humanity and past legacy are suddenly overturned when he meets a young girl, a mutant, on the run and with a lot more in common with Logan than meets the eye. Continue reading Stick your claws into this, Logan movie review

Galapagos trip leads way for discoveries

By Eleni Pappas

Imagine lands of peaceful beaches, vibrant forests, elegant volcanoes, and piercing mountains. The sound of the ocean cove lulls you to sleep, and you dream of the adventure that awaits you in the morning with penguins, iguanas, tortoises, sea lions, and pink flamingos. Life flourishes here unlike any other place in the world.

Get ready for a once in a lifetime trip on these idiosyncratic islands of discovery and beauty.

Continue reading Galapagos trip leads way for discoveries